News

Around the World Roundup: U.K. Gobbles Up 'Chocolate,' 'Island' More Buoyant Overseas

by Conor Bresnan
Johnny Depp in
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
August 3, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sweetened its international pot with a spectacular debut in the United Kingdom. Elsewhere, The Island saved some face in Asia, Fantastic Four, Madagascar and War of the Worlds each crossed milestones, and Stealth kept pace with action genre norms in Asia.

Tim Burton's adaptation of British author Roald Dahl's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, gobbled up $13.9 million from 531 locations, out-performing the past openings of The Incredibles by 27 percent, Madagascar by 100 percent and even War of the Worlds by 6 percent. However, in Mexico, Charlie had a mediocre $1.4 million reception from 473 prints, and, in Israel, it opened to $217,500 at 48 screens.

Overall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory grossed $20.7 million over the weekend from 16 territories for a $37.3 million total. France has turned into a key market despite a moderate start. In its third weekend there, the movie fell just 26 percent to $2.6 million from 670 prints for a $13.1 million. Next weekend, Charlie bows in Germany, Spain and Southeast Asia.

Performing better than its domestic run, relatively speaking, The Island grabbed three solid debuts over the weekend. In Australia, the Michael Bay clone thriller grossed an unspectacular $1.8 million from 334 prints in first place. In Hong Kong, it was on top with $527,900 from 42 screens. The movie managed a respectable $136,100 from 40 screens in India, ranking second behind local Viruddh in the country that's recovering from devastating floods.

Ewan McGregor in The Island
The biggest chunk of The Island's $7.7 million international weekend came from South Korea. After last weekend's record-breaking debut, it grossed $3 million from 230 prints, a drop of only 37 percent. So far it's outperforming all previous Michael Bay pictures there with an $11.5 million total so far. Next weekend, it looks to build on its $24.1 million overseas tally with openings in Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Spain and the U.K.

Last Thursday, Madagascar crossed the $200 million mark, while War of the Worlds topped $300 million. Madagascar's $13.3 million weekend pushed its total to $220 million. Both Germany ($27 million total) and the U.K. ($29.4 million) continue to be big contributors.

War of the Worlds added $10 million for a $311 million total. Highlights were $1.9 million in the U.K. for a $49.6 million tally, $1.6 million in France for $23.5 million and $1.4 million in Japan for $43.3 million. It looks like Steven Spielberg's alien disaster will end up with around $350 million.

The Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four, still early in its international run, crossed the century mark after an $11.4 million weekend. The Marvel Comics adaptation relied on strong holds in the European markets. After three weekends, it still made $2.9 million in the U.K. for a $13.6 million total, $2.3 million in France for $9.1 million and $1.1 million in Spain for $11.3 million.

Domestic dud, Stealth, had respectable openings all around. In South Korea, the aerial action thriller grossed $1.6 million from 210 prints, below The Island's second weekend. It was No. 1 in Russia, however, with a $730,000 launch from 250 screens. In Southeast Asia, business was standard for the genre. Taiwan was the highlight with $440,000 from 20 screens, and the movie was also tops in Malaysia and the Philippines.

The final two stops of Batman Begins's foreign campaign netted two No. 1 debuts, contributing to a $3.3 million weekend from 52 countries and a $156.2 million total. The Dark Knight swooped into Sweden with $1.1 million from 87 prints, including previews. The debut was the second biggest of the year behind Revenge of the Sith and topped both X-Men pictures. In superhero-adverse Poland, the movie posted a solid $250,200 from 72 screens. Batman Begins could end up around $175 million overseas, below domestic's $200 million trajectory.

In Japan, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith fell only 14 percent in its fourth weekend to $3.4 million for a $51.9 million total. The hold was particularly strong considering it lost 134 screens (or 20 percent of its total). Its international tally increased to $431 million.

Robots rolled into its final three markets. Japan was its sturdiest start with $1.5 million, while South Korea was a close second with $1.4 million and Hong Kong had a distant estimated $350,000. The computer-animated comedy's foreign total climbed to $117.5 million with $130 million looking to be its destination point.

Spain was receptive to the comedy, Guess Who, with a $1.4 million opening from 300 screens. The picture's overseas tally rose to $21.4 million.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith is on the verge of topping its domestic take overseas as its total reached around $176 million, including a $980,000 opening from 98 screens in the Netherlands.

Bowing two weeks before its domestic release, The Skeleton Key creaked into the U.K. and Spain with soft results. In the U.K., the thriller landed in fifth place with a $1.4 million debut from 354 screens. In Spain, it reaped $1.1 million from 259 screens. Neither debut topped Boogeyman's earlier in the year.



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